"I think Thai artistic styles are exquisite and still feature hidden characteristics from yesteryear.""My name is Sophon Wongju, I was born on 14 March 1967 in the Nakorn Pathom province. I am the youngest of three sons and my family is dedicated to farming. I am married and now live in Phrae province with our daughter. I am an artist, and I work from home. I live far from my parents, but I always visit my family whenever I can. Fortunately, many relatives still live nearby my parents, so they are well taken care of.
"I started painting murals at a very early age, and did them for more than 18 years. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. While studying, I would finish each term working freelance. To gain new experiences, I perfected my mural skills in the temples up country. I also gained artistic experience from varied local artists, whom shared a type of knowledge I couldn't find in the classroom.
"I think Thai artistic styles are exquisite and still feature hidden characteristics from yesteryear. However in the old days people created art strictly following Thai beliefs and concepts. Nowadays society has changed and culture has incorporated aspects of foreign cultures, which in turn have changed the way we live and think.
"I would like Thai people to understand, accept and protect these ancient artistic styles. They could mix them with modern ones, but still acknowledge the classic ones and protect them, so that the coming generations can continue learning. In a way, I also preserve these ancient styles through my works. I am inspired by the murals of ancient temples, characters from Thai literature, and from Lord Buddha. The final work is designed to fit people's needs, either decorative, utilitarian, or both."